Interim law school dean’s candidacy removed for full time position

By on March 14, 2017

By Shelby Brown–

Interim Law School Dean Susan Duncan told faculty she will not be considered for the full-time position.

“Serving as dean of this law school has been the honor of a lifetime,” Duncan, who held the interim spot for five years, said. “I cannot thank you enough for being my colleagues and friends, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Acting Provost Dale Billingsley informed Duncan of the decision March 9. The Courier-Journal reported that Billingsley cited no reasons for the removal of her candidacy.

“Her hard work and dedication have laid an excellent foundation for the school’s future,” Billingsley said.

Insider Louisville reported Billingsley said rumors of Brandeis School of Law closing were false. However, budgetary shortfalls are still an issue.

“The university and law school are facing tough budgetary times,” Duncan said.

The law school has seen low bar exam pass rates, declining enrollment and imbalanced spending.

U of L’s budget currently faces a $48 million dollar gap that must be closed by next year. The gap was blamed on excessive spending by the university and the foundation. Cuts are expected in all colleges and departments. In recent faculty assembly meetings, Billingsley has encouraged faculty to brainstorm ways to create revenue.

“We have faced numerous budget constraints in the past. As always, when choices must be made, our practice is to prioritize the needs of our students,” a letter, signed by law school faculty, said.

Billingsley says the search for a permanent dean continues. The remaining candidates include:

  • Geoffrey Rapp: professor of law and values, associate dean for academic affairs at University of Toledo College of Law
  • Colin Crawford: professor of environmental law at Tulane University Law School
  • Wesley Oliver: professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and scholarship at the Duquesne University School of Law.

Duncan is considering a position as dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law.

“It’s hard to know that I won’t be with you next year, but I will always be a Cardinal at heart,” Duncan said. “I know you will continue to make me proud.”

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal


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